To the editor: Nature Museum speaker on cougars drew large, enthusiastic crowd

A big thank you to Sue Morse for leading a fascinating talk sponsored by the Nature Museum on the cougars return to the East on Jan. 20.

Letters to the editor logo This was our largest audience on record ever so thank you to everyone who came out! It was standing room only in the NewsBank Conference Center in Chester to hear Morse, a nationally recognized naturalist, speak on the current status of cougars and more broadly on the presence of wild cats here in Vermont.

The open-handedness and generous spirit of NewsBank has made it a special pleasure to hold these wonderful public events at the lovely NewsBank Conference Center. Our next event at NewsBank will be an organic beekeeping workshop on March 12.

What remains still is the feeling of elation and, I hope, a lasting impact from the experience and the connections made. It is exhilarating to see the excitement of our guests as they connected with Sue and with nature in ways that promise to outlast this event. I am eager to hear audience feedback and ask all program participants to complete the short audience survey form on our website.

Vermont’s wild cats include bobcats and Canada lynx, both of which are breeding here in the Green Mountain State. There have been no confirmed cougar sightings as yet by the VT Fish and Wildlife Department, but Morse was jazzed about a confirmed sighting in late November in Tennessee. Morse stressed the importance of our role in conserving the natural habitats of wildlife.

While we are lucky here in Vermont to have large tracts of unspoiled land, farther to the south in states like New York and Pennsylvania there is greater development that makes connectivity a challenge for migrating wildlife. It’s vital that we recognize our role in the ecosystem and commit ourselves to working with others to preserve habitats so that animals can make these migrations safely.

To learn more about Morse’s work, please visit her site, The Nature Museum is presenting outdoor adventure camps for youth throughout February vacation week. Please visit to learn about cool eco-opportunities for adults and youth.

Carrie King
Executive director
The Nature Museum

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